Business responsible for damage to my car while driving into their driveway?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 10, 2015

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Insurance Question from Missoula, MT

Asked on 12/10/2015

Business responsible for damage to my car while driving into their driveway? Driving to auto shop @ windshield chip saw open gate, no do not enter, sign posted on gate pointing to shop office drove through open gate turned right as sign indicated. Felt/heard terrible grinding noise. discovered left side went off short wall (not visible from inside car) damaged bottom of car. told office guy came out. shop not responsible, like hitting parked car and I'm responsible wall damage. Car not drivable, young man gave ride home, told me p/u highcentered same place week before, garbage men never closed gate, called day before it was garbage guys fault. Who's at fault??

Answer given on January 04, 2016

If you have an auto accident, even with a stationary object such as a wall or fence, it is considered to be your fault for the damages to your car and any damage to the wall. The fact that you could not see the wall does not make any difference as far as the accident goes. It will be considered a chargeable accident, if the damages are in excess of the amount shown on the policy, usually between $750 and $1,000. This will most likely increase your rates.It is possible your insurance company will try to subrogate against the property owner since the wall is not visible and the gate should have been closed. However, if they are unsuccessful, then you will be held fully responsible. In any event, you will be considered partially at fault at best. Your deductible will apply to the damages to your car.

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